Creative Sustainability

Urban Transitions and Futures 2019

Originally published 20.5.2019

The Urban Transitions and Futures course is part of the collaborative Urban Studies and Planning programme (USP) at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. The course is led by Dr. İdil Gaziulusoy, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Design at Aalto University. It is an optional module for Creative Sustainability students.
Urban transitions and futures 2019

This year the course focused on the future development of Malminkartano, a suburb in the northern part of the Helsinki municipality. Through guest lectures, seminars, class discussions and complimentary readings, students learnt about the theories and practices of sociotechnical and socio-ecological transformations in the urban context. These include theories of transition management, resilience and social practice, typologies and processes of urban transformation at micro, meso and macro organisational, spatial and temporal scales, as well as methods of participatory inquiry in the context of urban futures.

The students then had the opportunity to apply their learning to specific urban transition situation in Malminkartano. Informed by hands-on field research, the students worked in multidisciplinary groups to develop an intervention proposal for the future development of Malminkartano and a Post-carbon Futures Campaign Poster for the suburb. During the final session of the course the student groups presented their intervention proposals to the class and stakeholders from the City. The final outcomes varied in content from food transitions to educational interventions and were both informative and engaging. You can learn more about the students experience of the course by reading Anni Leppanen’s reflective essay ‘Towards sustainable futures with urban transitions strategies embracing top-down and bottom-up’ on Medium.

“During the UTF course, I learned to understand sustainability issues such as climate change in the context of the urban transformation, and in relation to both socio-technical transition theories and transition strategies. The course case project in Helsinki neighbourhood of Malminkartano offered a specific context in which to understand and develop these themes. Yet, as my past knowledge and skills were somewhat challenged during the course, my greatest learning was perhaps in bringing my designer self closer to the sustainability and social science professional in me.” Anni Leppänen, CS Design Candidate. Excerpt from Anni’s reflective essay.

For more information on the Urban Transitions and Futures course please check Weboodi

Photographs are available on the CS Flickr

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